Chrome OS 81 redesigns Files app

With Chromebook, the two most important apps are undoubtedly built-in Chrome browsers and “files” apps. Chrome makes regular improvements, but Files has remained relatively constant for a long time. Chrome OS 81 wants to change the situation by introducing the Google Material Theme component into the Files app.

Back in August, Google added a new entry to the chrome operating system’s chrome://flags, promising to enable the next generation of file apps. Shortly thereafter, however, development appeared to have stalled, with no visible changes or redesigns for files that enabled the flag.

Enable Files App. NG.

Enable the next generation UI style of the file manager. – Chrome OS


Four months later, the first results of the redesign of the “file” application are finally beginning to emerge. On Chrome OS Canary, which has the above tags enabled, the tree pane on the left side of the Files app has undergone a major revision.

Chrome OS 81 redesigns Files app

Before the revision

Chrome OS 81 redesigns Files app

After the revision

The first is to use a circular overlay for the current catalog and highlight the catalog, and a new color scheme is applied to the overlay. Second, almost all icons that help users visually identify each folder at a glance have been replaced with Google Material Theme-friendly icons. Another interesting change is that by shortening the top bar, it provides more vertical space for the catalog view.

Overall, these changes are almost identical to the navigation drawers for apps with Google Material Theme, such as Android and Gmail on the web. Currently, all improvements apply only to the catalog pane. The master file browser view still uses its classic design and icons. It can be expected that the rest of the File application will undergo a similar redesign in the coming weeks.

Since this early experimental redesign of the file application has only just been implemented in the current version of Chrome OS Canary, we may have to wait until chrome OS 82 is released sometime in May to see it complete. The experimental version should be trialled in the Chrome OS 81 stable, which will be released in March.

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